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Love and Peace!

Recommending an anime series to a budding otaku is not a simple task. Anime, like any other widely consumed entertainment media, is riddled with mediocre rubbish. Indeed it is quite intimidating, and initially embarrassing, to browse any anime library without knowing where to begin. To assist in the cultivatation of this deprived person, the following considerations are taken: content maturity, episode count, audio sub/dub quality, and overall quality. When asked to provide such an individual, whom has never watched an anime series, with a handful of starter recommendations, Trigun is always among them.

Trigun - Vash
The friendship between Vash and Wolfwood rivals that of Harry and Brandon

Trigun is a 26 episode anime series from Madhouse studio. Trigun follows the journey of a pair of insurance agents that are tasked with mitigating any potential damages that could be unleashed by the reckless 60,000,000,000$$ Man, Vash The Stampede. For the first half of the series, Trigun could, and should, be classified as a comedy. The silly and light-hearted approach of Trigun subtly introduces the viewer to planet Gunsmoke, the main characters, and it's steampunk/sci-fi setting. The character-based humor stems from the antic behavior of the protagonist, Vash, whom is classified as a "localized disaster". Starting from episode one, Trigun focuses on getting the viewer well acquainted with each of the differing personalities of the main characters. During these episodes Trigun inserts bite-size details, background information, and forshadowing to prepare the viewer for its serious-toned transition (the later half).

For the later half of the series, Trigun's main plot (main story arc) starts to develop. It is during this transitionary phase where Trigun's demographic appeal extends beyond the teenage audience; providing substantial appeal for mature consumption. As the story progresses, various themes such as the morality of survival, bonding, parental influence on the development of children, conviction, and discrimination are explored. Each of these themes, along with others, provide a solid foundation to which Trigun's plot tightly embraces. Because of Trigun's character driven focus throughout the series, the viewer fully understands the gravity of each moral conflict that Vash is challenged to face. When Trigun reaches the conclusion, the viewer knows how Vash has morally changed, and how his conviction has been tested and tempered.

There is plenty of action within Trigun.

Physical challenges, where resolution is tangible, are easier to comprehend and instinctively understand. Vash's initial challenges during the beginning episodes are physical. These challenges are presented as well animated action-packed gunfights; providing immediate entertainment for the audience. As the series goes on, these challenges gracefully shift from physical-based (external) to spiritually-based (internal) conflicts. Spiritual conflicts, where resolution is intangible, are complex to understand and requires a substantial setup of it's context. In Trigun, the most difficult challenges that Vash must face are the spiritual challenges that requires Vash to decide between two well-defined and morally opposing outcomes. It is in these moments where Trigun shatters all preconceptions towards anime, becoming a masterful piece for entertainment and art.

Trigun, like any other anime that I would recommend, aired in 1998 during the golden age of anime (pre-2005). Prior to 2005, the english translation and audio dubbing of anime, in general, was handled with a greater degree of maturity. Starting around 2005, english voice-acting became overly stero-typed, while line delivery failed to preserve emotional context. Aside from a small collection of talented individuals, like Wendee Lee & Johnny Yong Bosch, post-2005 english dubbed anime like Naruto suffer dramatically from the degradation/removal of mature content (ex: blood, sexual innuendo, and profanity). Thankfully, Trigun was translated and dubbed during an earlier time where preservation of the creator's original vision was the primary priority.

There is plenty of drinking within this western.

Indeed, more details could be written about this legendary anime's colorful cast of characters, thought-provoking plot, solid animation, and western folk blues inspired guitar work. However, any further elaboration would detract from the experience. Trigun is one of the few anime series that is able to express the full rainbow of human emotion, within a complete 26 episode compilation. Any small complaints that could be made against the series are completely overshadowed by it's attractively wacky attitude. The quality of Trigun's story, voice-acting, and animation ensures entertainment throughout it's ~13 hour runtime investment, without ever seeming like a daunting task. When Trigun starts taking itself seriously, even the most mature viewers will find it's juggling of moral themes outright engrossing. For these reasons, and many others left unexplained, I recommend Trigun for any curious and mature viewer, especially newcomers.

Review Scoring System: Over 9000!
Scouter Reading
Unique Abilities
Super Series Jokeability 3Gun Happy
Multi-Genre FacilitationFiller Immunity
Relentless Display of ConvictionPerfect Length
Special Attacks
Episodic Kitty FinderPlot-Enhancing Flashback
Transforming Weapon of DoomAkira Explosion
Another Undefeatable Enemy Encounter
Dormant Power
The Final Episode of LegendLife-Changer
Exploitable Weaknesses
Delayed Arc StartBrainless Challengers
Power Level:
34753 > 9000
Potential Achieved94.6934%

Love and Peace!

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